Candidate responses have not been edited for grammar and punctuation.
Paul Alldredge is retired.
FAMILY: Wife Karen, B.S. Education, School Teacher for 32 yrs, retired, Son Jeffrey age, 32, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Daughter, Jessica age 29, B.S. RN at St. Luke's, Son, Mark age 27, B.A. Accountant, Boise.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE CITY LIMITS? 35 years
HAVE YOU HELD OTHER ELECTED POSITIONS? PLEASE PROVIDE DETAILS. No
HAVE YOU BEEN A CANDIDATE IN ANY OTHER ELECTIONS? IF SO, WHAT AND WHEN? City Council 2005
HAVE YOU EVER FILED BANKRUPTCY FOR YOURSELF OR FOR YOUR BUSINESS? No
HAVE YOU SERVED IN THE MILITARY? IF SO, WHEN, FOR HOW LONG AND FOR WHAT BRANCH? United States Navy 1966-70 Active duty Submarine Service and 1970-72 USN Reserves.
HAVE YOU BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY CHARGES? (TRAFFIC CITATIONS NOT INCLUDED) IF YES, WHAT WERE THE CONVICTIONS AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES? No
ARE YOUR TAXES PAID UP AND CURRENT? Yes
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS? I took advantage of the GI Bill and got a college education seven years after I got out of High School. We raised three successful children. Our children were our number one priority and we took good parenting as our Number One Priority. I have been retired except for some part-time employment since the age of 50. Good planning and financial discipline were how we were able to achieve our independence.
PLEASE LIST IN BULLETED FASHION THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT (IN YOUR OPINION) ORGANIZATIONS OR GROUPS THAT YOU ARE A PART OF.
- Served two appointments on Caldwell Planning and Zoning 2002-2007
- Served on Downtown Ordinance Committee 2005-2007
- Currently serve on the Board of the Tax Accountability Committee of Idaho 2009-2013
- Blog, Caldwell Guardian 2008-2013
- Part of the group challenging illegal purchase of jail property and the landmark Idaho Supreme Court decision that affirmed citizens' rights to Article VIII, sec. 3 of the Idaho Constitution requiring of 2/3rds affirmation in a vote of the people for any debt, liability or obligation beyond one budget cycle. County Commissioners purchased jail property in violation of the Idaho Constitution.
PLEASE LIST ANY CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS (OR POTENTIAL PROBLEMS) YOU FACE IF ELECTED. None
PLEASE NAME THE ORGANIZATIONS OR GROUPS THAT HAVE ENDORSED YOU SO FAR IN THIS ELECTION. None listed.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE ELECTED? Mayor Nancolas has been in elected office for nearly a quarter century; two terms on city council and three terms as mayor. It is time for a change and some new ideas. I will dedicate my effort and city resources to getting downtown revitalized. Economic Development is another area for improvement. Caldwell is a diamond in the rough with every potential to be one of Idaho's great cities. We have two colleges, two golf courses, a YMCA, and a major medical facility - amenities that few others possess.
WHY YOU INSTEAD OF YOUR OPPONENT(S)? It is all about decisions made by our current mayor. He has run virtually un-opposed as Mayor for three terms of office. Caldwell is not following any orderly plan for managing growth and spending tax and urban renewal dollars. Caldwell is a $50MM entity and I am confident I can do a better job as Mayor of Caldwell, if elected.
IN BULLETED FASHION, PLEASE LIST THE FIRST FIVE THINGS YOU WOULD DO IF ELECTED AND TELL US WHY THEY ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES.
- Get the Pioneer Irrigation Litigation settled. Money to lawyers and court costs will do nothing to fix the problems. The eminent domain suit filed by the city does nothing to correct pollution flowing into food crop irrigation canals and drains.
- Work to get the property tax levy lowered. Caldwell East Urban Renewal is costing all Caldwell property owners an additional $290/$100K of assessed value. Almost all city services for police, fire, street maintenance and other non-enterprise city services are paid for in large part by property owners not in the urban renewal district. Urban renewal is getting nearly $6 MM/year in property tax revenue with no citizen oversight on how that money is spent.
- Stop the sprawl. Caldwell is now about 22 square miles but the city limits and homes inside the city limits show a clear picture of sprawl. Urban infill needs to take center stage vs. more subdivisions that put even more demands on city services. We need a more orderly approach to growth in order to keep taxes low and still provide basic city services.
- Economic Development has a very spotty record at best.
- Work to keep the County Fair in Caldwell. The fairgrounds need to be improved and expanded. I would make this a collaborative effort with all stakeholders.
CAMPAIGN WEB SITE: None
WHAT SHOULD THE CITY’S ROLE BE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? Caldwell has a lot to offer but it should not be the great give-away contest of public money. Businesses should locate here because they see opportunity and can make a profit. Caldwell is a diamond in the rough.
WHAT STANDARD SHOULD ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD TO? Adherence to the oath of office. Don't do anything you would not want to see on the front page of the newspaper. Elected officials have a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers and citizens.
DO YOU SUPPORT THE DIRECTION THAT THE CITY IS TAKING RIGHT NOW? No; I have been following what is going on in Caldwell for decades and have not been able to determine what plan, if any, the city is following. There are a number of plans in the file cabinet gathering dust, RUDAT, Leland Report, Master Framework, Downtown Ordinance, Design Review, etc. Downtown projects have not brought "critical mass" nor have they achieved any return on investment for taxpayers.
WHAT PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN FOR THE GREENBELT IN YOUR CITY AND SHOULD IT BE EXTENDED? EXPLAIN HOW YOU WOULD FUND AN EXTENSION AND WHERE IT SHOULD OCCUR. We really need a safe way for children to walk to and from school. I spoke with former Caldwell School Superintendent, Roger Quarrels, about why all school kids are bussed to and from school. The short answer is Caldwell did not mandate sidewalks as it grew. We have a safety issue getting kids to and from schools safely. The greenbelt is adequate for now. We have more pressing issues. Another issue is NEV's or neighborhood electric vehicles. As people retire and quit driving, I would like to see Caldwell become more open to these forms of transportation.
DO YOU THINK THE CITY’S PROPERTY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH AND WHY? WHERE WOULD YOU CUT THE BUDGET OR HOW WOULD YOU FIND NEW REVENUE? Yes they are too high. Urban Renewal accounts for a tax bite that would lower property taxes by about 22% if eliminated. That is a substantial sum for all Caldwell property owners. Urban Renewal taxes do not go to all the various taxing districts such as the city, county, highway districts, schools and other taxing authorities who need that money for services they provide. Urban renewal taxes go toward Urban Renewal projects and this lost revenue has to be made up via higher levy rates for the entire city. Another area to cut the budget would be the innovative ways we can control cost by involving all department heads in the budget process. Cost containment is an ongoing process in any organization. I am not sure how well it is used in our city government.
SHOULD THE CITY EXPLORE ANY NEW URBAN RENEWAL PROJECTS? WHY OR WHY NOT? No! Urban renewal removes taxpayer oversight from government spending and long term debt obligations. Urban Renewal in Caldwell will spend about $60 million property tax dollars when all is said and done, a lot of it on projects that would never pass muster with voters. Long term debt needs to be approved by those paying the bills. Urban renewal removes taxpayer oversight granted in the Idaho Constitution. We have never been given advisory votes on UR project. It operates as a shadow government carrying out the wishes of the mayor and city council without any oversight.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO MAKE YOUR CITY MORE ATTRACTIVE TO POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS? Caldwell would be more attractive to potential employers by cleaning up the permitting process and shortening the time it takes to get permits approved. Slow permitting processes stopped forward progress on a Fred Meyer project in Caldwell prior to the recession. Additionally, I would make sure potential employers are treated respectfully and given a designated advocate to help move their projects forward. Ultimately, business follows rooftops as cities grow. They come here for one reason: they can make a profit in our community. A welcoming approach making employers a good civic partner for the community always helps in this process.
WHAT KINDS OF JOBS SHOULD THE CITY ATTRACT AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO GET THOSE JOBS? The median household income of a family of four in Caldwell is $38,600/yr. Idaho has a median of $43,400. We need higher paying jobs in our city. We have very good access to I-84, rail transportation and close proximity to major west coast cities for goods produced in Caldwell. Businesses will locate here if we can get our levy rate under control. Property taxes are about 40% lower in Ada County. We all know Ada County has jobs, Nampa has retail and Caldwell has parks! Caldwell is the county seat and we need to capitalize on this and locate more government offices in and around downtown. Downtown jobs create demand for downtown services.
DO YOU THINK THE CURRENT LAW ENFORCEMENT STAFFING LEVELS ARE APPROPRIATE, GIVEN BUDGET CONSTRAINTS? PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER. Yes, if you take the numbers from the budget, Caldwell spends about $541,000 per square mile/yr. of our 22 sq. mile city on Police and Fire Protection services. The need for these services is not uniform throughout Caldwell. At some point in the future we will have to look at building a new fire station at or near the Caldwell Airport to better serve the east side of town.
SHOULD THE CITY TAKE STEPS TO ADOPT AN LGBT ORDINANCE SIMILAR THE ONE THE CITY OF BOISE RECENTLY ADOPTED? Why not? Discrimination is discrimination. Views on this issue have changed drastically in the last decade. U.S. Senate Bill 815, Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, ENDA, has bipartisan support with 54 co-sponsors and addresses this very issue**. These citizens are a very small minority in most communities of about 0.025% and deserve equal treatment under the law. Why have this potential discrimination issue as a financial liability for our city? (**Bloomberg Business Week, Sept. 23-29, page 31)
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF GARBAGE COLLECTION FEES SHOULD BE CHARGED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE BILLING PURPOSES VERSES WHAT IS CURRENTLY BEING CHARGED? It should represent a pass through cost and not a profit center to generate hidden tax revenue for any city. Anything more than actual costs seems wrong to me. Fees for trash pickup in Caldwell are a bargain when you consider they pick up everything you place at the curb that is properly contained in cans or totes.
CALDWELL HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF PARKS ON A PER-CAPITA BASIS. HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THE FUNDS SPENT ON THESE PARKS? Caldwell has been engaged in "PARKIFICATION" without regard to the ongoing expense of maintaining all the new parks. It gets back to the first impact fee ordinance in Caldwell for Parks and Recreation. The money flowed in as development took hold and when the recession hit, it became a case of spend the money or return it to developers with interest. The original intent was to keep the same ratio of parks and open spaces as Caldwell grew. Open spaces are hard to go back and retrofit if not planned in advance.
THERE'S A NEW GROUP THAT HAS ORGANIZED TO HELP BRING ROGER BROOKS TO CALDWELL. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE CITY'S ROLE IN THIS EFFORT? Roger Brooks will do much the same as previous efforts to energize citizen involvement in Caldwell. There will no doubt be a lot of citizen participation from those frustrated with our blighted downtown and apathy in Caldwell. I hope Mr. Brooks will bring lots of positive energy and focus to a new generation of people living in Caldwell. We should not let his work become another study relegated to the dust bin of history. Elected and appointed city officials need to be engaged and involved in this effort. Funding, citizen involvement, and political will are all parts of this process once he leaves town.
CALDWELL'S LIBRARY IS OVERCROWDED. SHOULD THE CITY EXPAND THE LIBRARY ACCOMMODATIONS OR PLAN TO BUILD A NEW LIBRARY? IF SO, HOW SHOULD IT BE FUNDED? If more library space is needed, we can expand the footprint out into the parking lot property next to 10th Avenue. Years ago that property was designated to be used for library expansion when needed. The west parking lot would add significant size to our library. There is plenty of parking east of the Library. Expansion funding could be a budgeted expense or taken from LGIP funds.
DO YOU THINK PROJECTS RECENTLY COMING TO SKY RANCH BUSINESS PARK (SOUTHWARK METAL MANUFACTURING, DEPT. OF LABOR, IMAGING CENTER OF IDAHO, NORFLEET DEVELOPMENT) HAVE TAKEN THE FOCUS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN CALDWELL AWAY FROM DOWNTOWN? IF SO, SHOULD THAT CHANGE? Caldwell is the County Seat. Try to imagine what Caldwell would look like if the Dept. of Labor, SW District Health Department and other government offices were located in or near downtown Caldwell. Sky Ranch is a great place for business expansion like Southwark, Imaging Center of Idaho, the Idaho Athletic Club and other non-governmental offices and businesses. I advocated the Comprehensive Plan for Caldwell promote government offices in downtown. Lack of political will and no monetary support from urban renewal is why we don't have these government offices in our downtown. Caldwell also bypassed the required step of buying and clearing dilapidated property with urban renewal tax dollars and marking the property down to make it competitive with virgin dirt outside of downtown. Opportunities were mismanaged and our downtown is still not revitalized. People ultimately need a reason to go downtown.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION THE CITY'S LAWSUIT AGAINST PIONEER IRRIGATION DISTRICT? WHAT SHOULD THE CITY DO TO RESOLVE THIS? The first step to fixing any problem is recognizing there is in fact a problem. Caldwell officials made every accommodation to developers over the years without regard to adequately containing runoff from subdivisions within the boundaries of each potential entry into Pioneer's ditches, canals and waterways. Street runoff has all manner of contamination such as crankcase oils, transmission fluids, radiator coolants and yard and animal wastes and silt from asphalt streets. Money spent on litigation on both sides of this issue does nothing to remedy the problems. The eminent domain litigation initiated by the city of Caldwell does nothing to protect farm food crop irrigation water from the aforementioned contamination. The City and PID need to sit down without all the lawyers and hammer out a plan to resolve their differences. Agriculture is a mainstay industry of this valley and needs to be protected.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH. DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER FINAL COMMENTS? Mayor Nancolas has had 24 years in elected office. If citizens of Caldwell are ready for a change then vote for me. I managed $200MM of finished goods as a Production Manager for Simplot as well as a $6MM department expense budget. I am very good at solving problems. I would appreciate your vote on November 5th.